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Simons Investigator in Aquatic Microbial Ecology Awards

Award NameSimons Investigator in Aquatic Microbial Ecology Awards
AgencySimons Foundation
ValueUp to $1,750,000
Duration5 years
Internal deadline11-30-2022
Agency deadline12-02-2022

The purpose of these awards is to support recently tenured, outstanding investigators in the field of microbial ecology in marine or natural freshwater systems, who will advance our understanding through field studies, laboratory experiments, modeling or theory. The program will provide support for establishment of a new research direction or an innovative expansion of current work. Investigators must be currently active in basic research addressing fundamental questions in microbial ecology or microbial biogeochemistry in natural aquatic systems, excluding research focusing on the microbiomes of animals, problems related to pollution, paleoceanography or geobiology. Scientists who intend to transition into aquatic systems from other fields may also be considered if they satisfy the eligibility requirements. Investigators, accompanied by a student or postdoc, will attend an annual meeting at the Simons Foundation. 

The award is up to $1.75 million (USD) over five years, including indirect costs (limited to 20% of modified total direct costs). Continued funding is subject to annual reviews of research progress in the areas relevant to the program. Appropriate expenses include salary support for the investigator and lab personnel, small and large equipment (including major research instrumentation), supplies, travel, publication and other research expenses. Funds may also be used towards teaching release and/or sabbatical support for the PI only. Annual amounts may vary between years.  

  • Applicants must have been awarded tenure within the last five years (after December 1, 2017). 
  • Applicants must hold a PhD or equivalent degree. 
  • Applicants must currently be the principal investigator (PI), co-PI or co-investigator (co-I) on a research grant from a national governmental agency or major national or international foundation that awards direct funding to their institution for their research in the field of microbial ecology or microbial biogeochemistry in marine or natural freshwater systems. They may also be eligible if they hold such a grant in a closely related field AND are an author on a publication in the field of aquatic microbial ecology within the last three years. 

Required Materials
  • Biosketch (two pages, with additional pages allowed for publications and support if needed). List your 10 most important publications with the complete reference (up to 10 authors; if greater than 10, give the number of authors and list the senior author) and with asterisks marking members of your lab. Append a list of current and pending support, including names of PI and co-PIs and total direct costs to your lab. 
  • A proposal narrative, including: 
    • Summary of most significant research accomplishments (300 words) 
    • Research Statement (1 page) 
    • Research Proposal (4 pages)  
  • Budget Justification 
  • Renewable Reagents and Data-Sharing Plan 
  • A signed ORS Checklist 

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying or have further questions, please contact Abby Vogus, SIRI Specialist at  


Abby Vogus
SIRI Specialist
Office of Research Services

FSc Research Services